The biggest sigh of relief; bigger than having crossed an ocean.
I know it’s hard to believe, but think about it. Boat yards have far more scary unknowns than oceans! I knew I would cross the Atlantic in 4 weeks; Dauntless in the boat yard? Boat yards are the Hotel California for boats; many enter and a good number never leave.
But Dauntless is jaunty, so that’s not going to happen to her; ever, never.
Dauntless left Waterford last October, expecting to be back in a few weeks. Instead it took 10 months and I spend a winter worrying:
Would the leaking fuel tank be fixed?
What about the crack in the hull?
Should I spend the money to paint the hull?
And if so, what colors?
Returning to Ireland the first of April did little to assuage my fears. A windy, wet winter (what else is there in Ireland?) seemed to make everything go slower. Even the inside work, fuel tank, had not been done. Michael & Stephen of the New Ross Boat Yard assured me everything would be done and not to worry.
I worried anyway, but Michael was right and made sure everything was done: On Time and On Target.
This will be our last two weeks in Waterford. It will give me a chance to say goodbye to friends and people who have become like family for me in the last two years. Remember the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker? Johnny, the manager of the City Dock was here to help with the lines. He did look a bit gaunt though and I discovered that he is training for a trek thru the Himalayas next year.
So since leaving New Ross on May 29th, Dauntless and I have travelled 22 days to Scotland and return. 157 engine hours and about 800 nautical miles.
I’ve ordered new batteries and they will be delivered next week, just after I get back from NYC.
Day 16 – 19 Scotland to S.E. Ireland, Kilmore Quay
We are running before the wind.
Our planned stop, at a marina just north of Dublin, has been scrubbed. With northerly winds increasing in strength, it seems best to continue due south, instead of turning southwest towards shore. Winds are 18 gusting to 30.
We left Scotland on Day 17, late morning to take advantage of the strong, 1 to 3 knot, currents. The plan was to travel until evening, then anchor off of Copeland Island, just to the southeast of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
By that evening the winds were strong out of the NE and as you can see from the picture of our chart, we drove around quite a bit to try to find the most sheltered spot to anchor.
The idea was that we would wait out and sleep the 5 or 6 hours until he tide turned again. With shallow water and rocks surrounding this island, it was a stressful half hour.
Finally finding the most sheltered place we could with winds only 12 to 15 knots, we anchored in 33 feet of water. I put out 260 feet of chain and added my new nylon
It turned out to not be pretty good anchorage, but with my house battery bank totally shot, I had to run the generator all night. In my cabin, I can hardly hear it, but just the thought of the inefficiency and waste led to a fitful sleep. With a ETD of 03:00, at 02:00 I decided, let’s get this show on the road, got up and hauled anchor. The anchor had found about 50 pounds of kelp/seaweed, so it took a bit to get that off, but we were finally underway towards Dublin at 03:13.
As the morning became day, the winds got stronger from the due north.
Running due south now, with the wind right behind us, the rolling is cut in half again. A much nicer ride, and actually more direct for our destination of Waterford.
To have gone southwest towards Dublin, only to have to spend a few hours tomorrow going southeast, again with strong northerly winds, was a fool’s errand.
I do a lot of errands. I am trying to less foolish ones.
With the change of crew last weekend, Brian leaving, Dan & Robin arriving, I have had less time to write. Brian is an experienced and accomplished Kadey Krogen boater. He has a new KK48, so our boats have a lot in common. It’s interesting to see both the similarities and the differences. A Compare and Contrast, in teacher talk.
I think we both learned a lot from each other and I really appreciated his perspective on the capabilities of my “old” boat.
As the day went on, the conditions became worse, confirming our decision to run though the entire day south.
At the worst, winds for much of the afternoon evening were 18 knots gusting to 28 to 31. Seas were a bit lumpy in that there were 6 to 8 foot waves from the northeast, along with the northerly seas. Not a great ride, but certainly better than 3 weeks ago, when I was heading into the same winds and waves.
We got to Arklow about 23:00 and tied to a concrete dock. Finally shutting down the engine at 23:31
Scotland to Arklow: 28.7 hours, 177 nm, plus 6 hours at anchor, averaging a little more than 6 knots.
The worst was behind us and I was looking forward to our net nightly stops, Kilmore Quay, New Ross, as the Kehoe boys, Stephen and Michael will put on a bbq for us and finally Waterford, where my spot from last fall is waiting for us.
Day 08 St. Helier, Jersey to Port St. Peter, Guernsey
Originally, I had planned the route in a most course fashion, just looking at the distance between the islands of Jersey and Guernsey and seeing the number “10” in my mind. 10 nm no problem; two hours.
So we set out, bright and relatively early. Only minutes into the cruise, the first bugaboo rears its ugly head. Anyone see the issue yet? Maybe you just read the previous blog? Here let me remind you, my own words from the previous blog:
Just before landfall, the winds turned westerly and north westerly at 25 knots. That combined with the much longer fetch, we immediately saw waves a few feet higher. All of sudden we were getting 6 foot waves on the port stern quarter. That angle of incidence does make the roll more than usual, and we had one roll of 15°. But not much more than a curiosity, as the port was in sight.
Ah yes, now, as we left port, the winds and seas were unchanged. But we were now going the opposite direction. For the first hour, the current was with us, but the winds were against, so we those nasty, steep, short period waves. The surfing safari we had the day before, now became the ride on the wild mouse. I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I actually left my feet. As I stood behind the wheel, trying to get the right combination of speed and course to reduce the pitching. A wave actually hit the anchor, we were going 1000 rpms, but I reduced it to idle after that. The Maretron data (ignore the speed thru water, as I have not been able to calibrate it) shows in that first hour the boat pitching. It’s hard to see in these pictures, but it clearly shows a series of three waves where the rhythm was such that the normal pitch up, had been 2° suddenly increases to 5° and then culminates in a 8° pitch up. Let me tell you, at 8 degrees, I’m thinking not of boat, but of an airplane, and that we should rotate now, and gear up.
I slow down even more, just above idle. After an hour, we go to the western most point of Jersey and could change course to NNW. Now the seas were 6 to 10 feet, but they were on the beam and the paravanes take care of business pretty well. As you watch the video, it may seem like a lot of rolling, 4 to 6 ° in each direction, an occasional 8° roll, BUT compared to pre-paravane days, that’s nothing, as in in the past, I simply would not have been able to take this course or I’d have had to alter course by 60°.
The extent of the pitch was new however. I had only had pitching like that once before, in Long Island Sound. In those days, seemingly eons ago (OK only 18 months), I had tried to temper the ride by reducing speed, but I never quite reduced it enough. On that occasion I had the rpm’s down to 1400, the waves were 8 to 12 feet and Dauntless would go down the face of one wave, and as we pitched upward the top of the next wave would get sheared off in the wind and go flying over the fly bridge, not even hitting the pilot house!
Earlier that morning, I had come through the Cape Cod Canal, having spent the night anchored off of Plymouth, Mass. I must have been about a half hour behind the only other boat I saw on the water that day, another Krogen. But as we turned west into Rhode Island Sound (an extension of Long Island Sound) I lost track of him. I finally pulled into the bay to go up the Narragansett River and “Coral Bay” was already anchored there. I recognized the boat, because we had also been in the same anchorage in Maine and Steve had come by to talk. We talked again after this ordeal, but neither one of us had the strength to get the dingy down to visit. Poor Dauntless, another day in where she was ridden hard and put away wet.
So all these memories are flooding back as we slog off the coast of Jersey. Therefore I knew now to reduce the rpms to idle if necessary. An hour and half after we had left the dock, we finally turn NNW for Guernsey, I realized that from here it was 10 miles, but not even to the Port of St. Peter our destination, but to some point south of the island.
Thus, my anticipated two hours trip became 5 hours.
The French sailboat Anfre, with Christian and Matin, stopped by Dauntless. They had left after us and had taken four hours. We had a great visit though and they have helped me plan the next two days to Honfleur to better plan on the currents. Also using Coastal Explorer, I have finally figured out how to better use the current tables.
Tomorrow, we have an 8 knot current to deal with off the Cape of La Hague, check out the current gauge, Argoss-WE 500-1355. Clearly, our departure time is predicated on that, but remember the sill. Our harbor must also be open to get out.
I’m playing with the big boys now; I better get to sleep early!
FYI The Delorme InReach turned itself off yesrterday. The AIS information is up to date if I am in a port. Also, having trouble uploading pictures for this post.